For most people learning from mistakes, although difficult, serves a great benefit. They know what to do or more importantly what not to do next time. However, for some the equation they learn looks something like this: I failed; I clearly did something wrong; I obviously don’t know what I’m doing; I can’t do this so I quit.
This is the first year that I have had a garden and as you can imagine it has been a festival of fail. Here’s what I mean:
In my introduction I pointed out that my situation, despite my rural location, was not unlike that of the suburban gardener. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense to most people so I’m here to clarify.
Even though I’m surrounded by farmland my little niche is only seven tenths of an acre. Of that amount, half is a lot reserved for small livestock. That brings me down to roughly a third of an acre. My house and half circle driveway take up a large portion of what is left. So, like the suburbanite, I consider space a premium.
To really make my circumstances relevant to the ‘Burb gardener I want to give a brief overview of my activities….
So far my production has been limited to container gardening, raised beds, perennial plantings, and small scale Aquaponics. My container gardening consists of three 10.5 in. self-watering containers and a 34 gallon trash can. My raised bed is a single 4’x16’x1’ bed that I scored free materials to build. My perennial plantings are various dwarf fruit trees, grape vines, and berry bushes. My Aquaponics system is a 55 gallon aquarium, two 20 gal totes, cheap landscaping stone, two cheap garden pumps, and trash can for a reservoir. None of these pursuits were expensive and none of them are outside the realm of the suburban gardener.
In the very near future I hope to expound upon each of my endeavors so that the ‘Burb community can get a feel for how things got started, how they’re doing, and where they’re headed. More importantly I hope that you use the information to get started for yourself.
Hello community! My name is Ray and I plan to become a regular contributor to this site. Being, “new to the crew” I felt an introduction was called for. To start my introduction I have to confess… I’m not in the ‘Burbs. So, you may ask yourself what I’m doing here. Here’s how I see it: Despite my rural location I have challenges not so different from those of the suburban gardener (which I will explain later). I believe that my vantage point of our common challenges and sharing how I overcome them may be of benefit to the ‘Burb community. My goal, first and foremost, is to share the knowledge I get through trial and error to others so they don’t have to experience the error part.
So, how did I get here?
The short of it is this: I grew up with Mike and Jeremy and they are, and always will be lifelong friends. Mike told me about his and Kristy’s gardening efforts (of which I knew nothing about) and in turn I told him about mine (to which he was equally oblivious). When we realized we were on the same track Mike told me about the site and I checked it out. The first posts I read were, “Who Do They Think They Are?” and, “What’s This All About?” First of all, if you haven’t read those two posts yet get over to the General tab and check those out. Anyways, as soon as I had finished reading those two articles I knew that I was in complete agreement with what they were doing. Furthermore, I knew that anything I could contribute would compliment, not conflict with what was going on here.
What those two articles impressed upon me most was that this is where it starts. That most of us not only take the systems of support that we rely on (in this case food) for granted, but that we usually contribute little or nothing to them ourselves. This is where it started for me: I will no longer be solely a consumer who relies on the producer. That if only minimally at first, that I too will become a producer. That I will increase my production until I am no longer dependent.
My mission and reason for coming onboard with this site is to help other people. While I don’t know much now I want to learn through the experience. I only hope that I articulate my experience well enough that you can use it to add to your own knowledge base. I thank you all for the opportunity to contribute to the community.